Today the Littles were frolicking across a meadow of daisies and there was pure bliss. Or there was shrieking while chasing each other in order to pummel the other baby’s face. One year olds, you decide which was happening. I’m going to go with the first scenario since I need a light in my day. And all because someone called me looking for daycare; or as she quaintly put it, “babysitting”.
Mother: Hi, my friend gave me your number and told me you babysit kids. I need a babysitter. Like, on weekends and at night when my husband and I want to go out.
Me: Okay, I’m not actually a babysitter. I have a home daycare where I enroll infants of active duty military members who need regular, full-time care during the week while they work. I don’t do any hourly or night care. I would be happy to give you some materials on our program so you can find the type of care you are looking for.
Mother: But do you babysit at night or on weekends so my husband and I can go out? I would need you to come here so my kid can sleep.
Me: No, I don’t babysit at night or on weekends, I am a licensed provider who does scheduled, regular care in my home while people go to work. Not hourly care. (At this point I’m trying to think of all the ways to communicate that I don’t offer babysitting.)
Mother: But can you do it and you just don’t want to?
Me: (This is pissing me off now.) Yes ma’am, I can do it if I wanted to but I choose not to. I can refer you to the office which may be able to find you someone who can. (Look at that, even when I’m ticked I’m still trying to hook her up with some Navy resources. I’m fucking nice!)
Mother: (cuts me off to say) Oh, I called them. They gave me some other people to call who do hourly babysitting but it is only during working hours or at night if I have a schedule from my place of work. I need babysitting when I want to go out.
Me: Well, I’d recommend you call your Ombudsman and ask if they have any resources for you.
Mother: But why won’t you do it?
Me: ( I am now sitting on the sympathy button because she must be very, shall we say, slow to not grasp what I am saying.) Ma’am, who gave you my phone number?
Mother: (pause…tells me the name)
Me: I don’t offer babysitting because I work 55 hours a week with infants who rely on me for their every need. I went to college to help the next generation become amazing adults who will be productive citizens of the very fine country my husband serves. I did not go to college so I could go to other people’s homes, watch their children for a few hours while mommy parties it up with daddy, and make absolutely no difference in the course of the child’s life. And I sure as heck didn’t go to college to be harassed by someone who cannot grasp the concept that I am a professional and choose to offer professional care to working parents who need be at peace with leaving their kid with a stranger while they go off to do whatever it is the nation asks them to do each day. I have recommended resources you can call but you persist in questioning why I won’t just do what you want because you want me to. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Mother: Well, if you really can’t babysit for me, I guess not.
Me: Okay, have a great day…and tell your friend to lose my number. I’m not available to her, for any reason.
Holy mother of God!!!!! I need to bang my head against a wall while trying to figure out how people think. And now I want to call a perfect stranger who delivers pizza for a living and ask them to go to the grocery store and deliver me Twinkies. Because I want them to. And I wouldn’t hear a thing they said, I’d just harass the driver about why he won’t do what I say.
They’d rightfully want to shank my face.
And why, why for the love of Peter, did this lady never once say to me “my friend said you’re awesome” or that “my friend said she would trust you with her kid” or even “my friend said since I’m new here you could help me”?
Nope, nothing. Not even a hint of anything other than condescension.
Adults…we really suck.
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